Friday, January 20, 2017

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Jharel Cotton

Jharel Cotton, RHP, A's.  DOB:  1/19/1992.  5'11", 195 lbs.  Drafted by the Dodgers in 2012 Round 20.  Acquired by the A's midseason from the Dodgers in the Rich Hill trade.

2016 AAA(Dodgers):  8-5, 4.90, 97.1 IP, 2.96 BB/9, 11.00 K/9.
2016 AAA(A's):  3-1, 2.82, 38.1 IP, 1.64 BB/9, 8.45 K/9.
2016 MLB(A's):  2-0, 2.15, 29.1 IP, 1.23 BB/9, 7.06 K/9.

We often read or hear about a pitcher's "stuff."  What is "stuff", anyway?  We know it is not the same as performance.  Often the term is used to describe a pitcher whose pitches look great but somehow are not getting batters out.  Often it it used as a synonym for velocity.  Eno Sarris and Alex Chamberlain, who write for Fangraphs, have made an interesting attempt at quantifying "stuff."  Roughly, the method looks at outcomes for individual pitch types such as groundballs, pop ups, swinging strikes, etc, gives them weights based on percentage of usage by the pitcher and impact of each parameter in getting outs and comes up with a single score they have dubbed Weighted Arsenal Score.

It speaks well of the method that the names at the top of the list include well recognized aces such as Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard.  Jharel Cotton ranked #13 on that list.  Of course his numbers are based on a 29 inning sample size, but still, Jharel Cotton has "stuff."  What Cotton has is 3 plus pitches, FB, cutter and changeup, all of which he has plus command over.  It appears from Fangraphs metrics that the FB is actually split about 2/3 and 1/3 between a 4-seam and 2-seam grip so some analysts would say he has 4 pitches, but the WAS score did not differentiate between the 2 fastballs.

Jharel Cotton was on my final fantasy team roster.  Our commissioner is starting a keeper system which allows us to keep 2 position players and 2 pitchers from last year.  I am seriously considering making Jharel Cotton one of my 2 pitcher keepers.

1 comment:

  1. I would also recommend a Fangraphs article entitled "A Dialogue on the Urgent Matter of Jharel Cotton's Cutter."